Almost half of Australian adults are not aware of the symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) , a new consumer survey, commissioned by Nutricia, shows.
MCI can be an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease, between the expected cognitive decline of normal ageing and the more serious decline of dementia.
These results demonstrate a minor increase of less than one percent in symptom awareness compared to the previous year (45.1 per cent), highlighting the need to enhance the education of Australians about the signs of MCI and early-stage Alzheimer's disease.
Forgetfulness can be commonly mistaken as a normal part of ageing, and although some forgetfulness comes with age, it's important to identify when there is noticeable decline in memory and other cognitive thinking abilities.
People diagnosed with MCI tend to have more noticeable changes to memory and thinking than what would be expected from someone at a similar age.
However, they don't have other signs of dementia and most people are still able to carry out their daily activities.
KEY SURVEY FINDINGS:
Low awareness: Almost half (45.8 per cent) of Australians are not aware of MCI and associated symptoms.
Geographical divide: Victoria stands out as the State with the lowest awareness of MCI, with South Australia having the highest awareness rate of MCI.
Symptom recognition: 40.6 per cent of those surveyed correctly identified taking longer to recall names and words as a symptom of MCI, with 31.5 per cent also identifying finding decision-making more overwhelming as a symptom.
Concerningly, there was very low awareness of the other common symptoms of MCI, including struggling to follow conversations or directions (30.2 per cent), finding it harder to complete everyday tasks (30.4 per cent) and finding it harder to follow movies, TV shows or books (26.4%).
Globally recognised specialist in geriatric medicine and Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine, Associate Professor Michael Woodward AM, estimates that there were nearly one million Australians living with Mild Cognitive Impairment.
This number, coupled with the recent survey results, reinforces the need to increase awareness of MCI.
Resources and support are available from organisations and networks such as Dementia Australia.
Nutricia Australia’s Souvenaid - a medical nutrition drink - has also just launched letschatmci.com.au as part of their ‘The Uncomfortable Pause’ campaign to increase awareness of MCI and to support more Australians to have a conversation with loved ones about memory loss.
For those diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment, there are lifestyle recommendations such as being more active, being socially connected to family and friends and following Mediterranean like diet.
Nutrition plays such a pivotal role in our general well-being as well as supporting a health brain.
Souvenaid® is a medical nutrition drink backed by 20 years of evidence-based research. It contains a unique combination of nutrients formulated to support the growth of brain connections at levels that are difficult to attain through diet alone.
A clinical trial published in the peer-reviewed publication Alzheimer's & Dementia®: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association in 2021, compared people with MCI who took a nutritional intervention called Souvenaid compared to those that didn’t, showed for the first time that a nutritional intervention has been clinically proven to slow the decline in memory and cognition when taken daily over 3 years.
More details about Souvenaid can be found at www.memorydrink.com.au.
Please note: This product does not cure or alleviate Alzheimer’s disease. Souvenaid is a food for special medical purposes for use under medical supervision. Contact your healthcare professional to see if this product is suitable for you or your loved ones. For medical advice, always seek professional advice from a healthcare professional.